Empowering Lives Through The Beading Project: Crafting Hope, One Bead at a Time
In a powerful fusion of purpose and passion, Black Betty and the Kolisi Foundation have embarked on an extraordinary journey known as "The Beading Project". This collaboration intertwines Black Betty's expertise in jewellery with the foundation's unwavering commitment to upskilling survivors of Gender Based Violence (GBV). At the heart of this endeavour lies the Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women & Children, the canvas upon which this transformative initiative is painted.
The Beading Project serves as a beacon of hope and resilience. Through a blend of skills development, financial empowerment, and a therapeutic outlet, this project sets a path to healing and independence for GBV survivors. At its core, the project's essence is encapsulated in six exquisite bracelets, each aligned to a distinct quality - empowerment, mindfulness, love, happiness, protection, and truth.
Crafted meticulously, each bracelet is adorned with a Sterling Silver or Gold-plated bead, encircled by an array of semi-precious stones, symbolizing the unique qualities we embrace and honour daily. These bracelets are not just accessories; they are tangible reminders to pause, reflect, and connect with the powerful attributes they represent.
The creation of each bracelet is a testament to the strength of the human spirit. Every piece is carefully crafted by the hands of a GBV survivor, infused with their resilience and creative expression. Through this process, The Beading Project becomes a conduit for empowerment, allowing these remarkable women to rewrite their narratives, one bead at a time.
Our commitment goes beyond jewellery; it's a promise etched in purpose. Black Betty pledges 7.5% of monthly online sales to the Kolisi Foundation, fuelling various GBV initiatives and supporting affiliated non-profit organisations. Furthermore, the entirety of the proceeds from the sales of these bracelets will directly benefit the women of the Saartjie Baartman Centre, deepening the impact of our collective efforts.
This initiative echoes our belief in purpose driven good jewellery that ignites change - bead by bead. The Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women and Children stands as a guardian of hope, providing an oasis of safety, support, and empowerment. With unwavering dedication, they have assisted over 270,000 women in their 24 years of service.
Through a spectrum of services - from emergency shelter and counseling to legal empowerment and job skills training - the center stands as a testament to what collective compassion can achieve. The Beading Project is a thread in this tapestry of transformation, a reminder that our collective actions, no matter how small, can make a difference.
Each purchase is a step forward, a gesture of solidarity, and a tangible commitment to breaking the chains of GBV. As you don these bracelets, know that you're not just wearing jewellery; you're carrying the stories of a community that is determined to rise, heal, and thrive. The Beading Project isn't just a collection; it's a legacy of love, empowerment, and change, woven into every bead.
“I’m so grateful for Black Betty and the Kolisi Foundation because we just literally wouldn’t be able to do what we do without our partners saying, you know, let’s work together. And that’s the wonderful thing about being in this environment is so many people are willing to stand up and say let’s do this together”. - Bernadine Bachar - Director of The Saartjie Baartman Centre
SAARTJIE BAARTMAN CENTRE FOR WOMEN AND CHILDREN:
The Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women and Children is a one-stop centre for women and children who are survivors of abuse. Their vision is to create a safe and secure society and a human rights culture where women and children are empowered to exercise their full rights.
To date the centre has helped over 270 000 women since it opened its doors in 1999.
The services provided for women and their children include:
1. A 24-hour emergency shelter (safe accommodation)
- Short and medium term residential care
- Childcare services
- Counselling, mental health support, legal and economic empowerment services
- Children's counselling
- Research in gender-based violence
- Job Skills training
- Legal advice
Find out more: http://www.saartjiebaartmancentre.org.za/
When asked what their greatest achievements and proudest moments have been, Bernadine responds:
“The thing that I am most proud about the way that the organisation develops is that we are never stagnant. We are very unique in the way that we look at responding to the needs of survivors. We never go ‘Ok, now we’ve mastered it and off we go’. So, for instance during Covid, and particularly lockdown level 5, we have ordinarily 120 women and children here - generally it’s 60 women / 60 children. Those children in lockdown level 5 didn’t have access to schools. So we had a survivor who had just passed through the programme here, who was a qualified educator so we set up what is now our home school programme here. So the children went on to online home schooling and it’s still running now. They absolutely loving it. We are using it now for the women as well. So we’ve always managed to think: ok, how do we better ourselves, but also where are the gaps.
The food distribution programme that we run with Kolisi Foundation came out of covid because we realised that if we didn’t get out into our community and start making sure that families had food, GBV rates were going to increase so that’s where that came from and its been something that we’ve managed to keep going for three years so we are very grateful for it.
I’m exceedingly proud that we don’t rest on our laurels. We go ok, there’s got to be something that we can do to make things easier or to empower women and children better”. - Bernadine Bachar - Director of The Saartjie Baartman Centre
The social workers at the centre are nothing short of everyday heroes, doing the heavy lifting and confronting deep traumas with these women and children daily. Having spent considerable time with the team, we asked how they felt about the project and how it would impact the survivors:
“Many of our clients and survivors that are at our centre struggle with empowerment and envisioning a future for themselves. The beading project will really help them with something that they create. It’s something that they design and they see how far that goes. It gives them that opportunity to see their work, to see that they can create something that can go somewhere and it really gives them the opportunity to identify their strengths, to identify how they can put things into perspective for themselves and create something.
I think the most important and the most exciting part is seeing clients learn something new and, as a social worker, the most empowering thing is seeing the people that you are in service of learn something that is to the benefit of themselves. For me that is the most exciting part of this project”.- Ammaarah Arendse - Residential Social Worker at The Saartjie Baartman Centre
The partnership with Kolisi Foundation has exceeded Black Betty's expectations in the most positive way. Their work is profound and widespread.
“Black Betty has been an incredible partner in helping us grow our presence and expand into new markets. It is a beautiful example of collaborating resources and expertise, building positive brand associations, and expanding the reach of our programmatic work. Through our collaboration between Black Betty and Saartjie Baartman not only are we able to raise funds that go straight back into the work of the Kolisi Foundation, but we are also able to come alongside our implementing partners and offer suitable skills development that will only enhance changing the stories of inequality”. - Lauren Budde - Partnerships and Resource Manager, Kolisi Foundation.